By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE nation recorded 92 new COVID-19 infections over the holiday weekend bringing the total number of cases to 9,263.
Yesterday, the countrys top infectious disease expert said health officials are still very much concerned that the Bahamas could be on the brink of a third COVID-19 wave.
Dr Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme at the Ministry of Health, told The Tribune it would be very concerning if the country continues on this trend as it could lead to the health system being above capacity.
If we continue on this trend then certainly we would be very concerned, she said.
We know globally that there are many countries that are undergoing third or fourth waves and third waves are often larger than second waves, so its very important that we follow the public health instructions so that we can mitigate an increase in cases, the health system being over capacity and COVID-19 deaths increasing.
On Thursday, April 1, health officials reported 28 newly confirmed COVID cases with 12 coming out of New Providence, eight originating from Grand Bahama, six arising out of Eleuthera and one being reported from Abaco.
On Good Friday, 35 more cases were recorded with 24 coming out of the capital, seven from Grand Bahama, three originating from Bimini and Cat Cay and one being reported from Andros.
On Saturday, the country recorded another 16 confirmed COVID cases; seven of those were from New Providence, another seven were from Grand Bahama, while there was one each from Eleuthera and Andros.
Thirteen more COVID cases were reported on Sunday, eight of which came out of New Providence. Grand Bahama also reported three new cases while Eleuthera and Andros each recorded another case.
Two of the cases that arose in New Providence were said to be people who travelled within the last 14 days.
According to the Health Ministrys latest report, 36 of the newly confirmed cases are currently hospitalised and three patients in New Providence have been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
The death toll currently stands at 189, after the death of 74-year-old Bimini resident Louis Edward Rolle was officially added to the tally. The Tribune previously reported that Rolle died on the island last Tuesday after he could not be airlifted to New Providence for treatment due to his size.
Dr Forbes said health officials are concerned about a possible third wave because cases and hospitalisations are trending upward.
She insisted it was crucial for the public to follow the precautions to prevent a surge in new cases.
Its important to remember that we follow the prevention measures because they are very effective, especially in view of (COVID-19) variants that have been demonstrated to be more infectious, she said yesterday.
Last week, Tourism Minister Dionisio DAguilar said the country could not afford to enter a third COVID-19 wave as it could usher in dramatic setbacks for the nation.
What we see around the world and what we are seeing in our country is a slight uptick in cases, he said at the time. This COVID-19 virus is certainly not behind us and until we get 80 percent of the population vaccinated, we are going to have to abide by the health protocols in order to keep the number of cases at a minimum.
In their latest release, health officials also urged the public to comply with the recommended regulations and guidelines to help mitigate the spread of the virus in the country.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not wait, first contact your health provider, the statement read. While home remedies may work for a period it is important to get tested and receive proper care before symptoms become too difficult to manage. If you have been asked by the Surveillance Unit to get tested for COVID-19, please follow the advice and take the gold standard RT-PCR test. Employees are encouraged to work from home.
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